Overheard in the Annex: Top Stories in KY Politics This Week

News outlets around the state carried the news this week that 37 state workers collected more than $116,000 in state and federal jobless benefits, according to a report from state Auditor Mike Harmon. 

The Lexington-Herald Leader’s John Cheves reports that 10 of those workers accessing unemployment benefits were employed by the Office of Unemployment Insurance who accessed their own accounts, a violation that has been turned over to the state Attorney General for potential prosecution.

This is the second look at unemployment claims from Harmon’s office. In his first audit, he revealed more than 400,000 unread emails sent by Kentuckians seeking assistance from the Kentucky unemployment office

Former Juvenile Justice Commissioner Appeals Firing

LaShana Harris, the former Juvenile Justice Commissioner fired last month for creating an alleged “toxic work environment,” has appealed her dismissal, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. 

Veteran reporter Deborah Vetter obtained Harris’ appeal date April 5, via an Open Records request. The appeal called the investigation “incomplete, biased and compromised,” according to the CJ. 

Activists Call on U.S. Conference of Mayors to Oust Fischer

An effort underway to ouster Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer from his position as the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors has resulted in around 1,000 emails and 100 phone calls to the organization, reported Spectrum News 1. 

“The email, which makes the case why the third-term Louisville mayor should not be president of the conference, accuses Fischer of using “Black people as props to gain political capital” and enacting “anti-Black policies.” It criticizes his response to Breonna Taylor’s killing and his handling of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s (LMPD) Explorer sex abuse scandal,” digital reporter Adam Raymond wrote. 

Fischer’s term with the Conference of Mayors ends June 11.